COQUIMBO – After a 6.7 earthquake shook the Coquimbo region on Saturday night, the area is still heavily affected. The mayor of Coquimbo city, Marcelo Pereira, asked the government to declare the region a catastrophe zone, to be able to receive special funds. Thousands of citizens in the area are still without electricity.
The 6.7 earthquake that took place in the Coquimbo region has severely damaged buildings and infrastructure in the area. Authorities have started to analyze the damage and the mayor of Coquimbo city has asked the Chilean government to declare the region a disaster zone, “in order to receive money and help those in need”.
Several roads are still closed and according to the National Emergency Office (Onemi), 6,817 citizens are still without electricity. The municipalities of both La Serena and Coquimbo have published reports in the aftermath of the earthquake, confirming that hundreds of houses have been damaged, of which dozens unrecoverable.
President Piñera to visit the area
The regional deputy of Coquimbo, Lucía Pinto, opposed the mayor´s request, as according to her “the region doesn´t meet the technical justifications to be declared a disaster zone.” The last time this happened was in 2015, when a tsunami severely damaged the coastline in the area.
President Piñera will visit the affected region today. He will meet with victims of the earthquake and local politicians. Among them, the mayors of La Serena and Coquimbo and the region´s deputy.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.